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Road Safety Act 2006

Schedule 6

137.Paid instruction in the driving of motor cars is regulated by Part 5 of the RTA ("motor car" being defined in section 141A, a provision which is replaced by a new provision in the Act). Schedule 6 amends the provisions of that Part in a number of ways, by substituting new provisions for existing ones, inserting new sections and amending existing provisions. The changes are set out in more detail below.

138.Paragraph 2 substitutes new provisions for section 123 as follows:

New section 123: Requirement of registration

139.Subsection (1) provides that driving instructors have to be registered if they give paid instruction of any prescribed description. This enables the existing provision regarding paid driving instruction in the driving of motor cars to be extended, by regulation, to other motor vehicle types in addition to motor cars, for example, driving instruction in respect of lorries, buses and motorcycles. The subsection furthermore extends the current registration requirement by requiring not only those persons who give paid instruction but also those who carry on a business of providing paid driving instruction of a prescribed description (such as franchise operations), to be registered. "Driving instruction" is accordingly given a wider meaning by subsection (3) andsubsections (5) and (6) make provision about what "paid instruction" means.

140.Subsection (2) sets out the requirement for all persons giving paid driving instruction or carrying on business in the provision of paid driving instruction to display evidence of their registration as required by regulation e.g. in a classroom.

141.Subsection (4) provides that regulations prescribing a description of driving instruction may describe it by reference to the class of motor vehicle (for example, bus or lorry), the person to whom the instruction is given (for example, provisional or full licence holder) and the nature of the instruction or where and how it is given (for example, on or off-road). Currently only instruction given in a motor car is caught by the provisions of Part 5 of the RTA.

New section 123A: Paid driving instruction: offences

142.Subsection (1) makes it an offence to give driving instruction in contravention of section 123 and also provides that employers and franchisors commit an offence where driving instruction is given in contravention of section 123 by their employees or franchisees. Subsection (3) provides a defence for persons able to prove that they did not know and had no reasonable cause to believe that they were not registered or, in the case of employers and franchisors, that the person giving instruction was not registered. Subsection (2) makes it an offence to carry on business in the provision of driving instruction in contravention of section 123(1)(b).

143.Subsection (4) makes it an offence to contravene section 123(2) of the RTA (to provide paid driving instruction or carry on business in the provision of paid driving instruction without meeting the requirements regarding the display of evidence of registration).

144.Paragraph 3 substitutes a new section 124 (Exemption from prohibitions imposed by section 123) making provision for exemptions from the requirement of registration.

145.Paragraph 4 substitutes new provisions for section 125 (register of approved instructors) enabling the Secretary of State, by regulation, to establish and maintain a register for the purposes of Part 5 of the RTA.

146.Paragraph 5 inserts a new section 125ZA (Conditions of registration) as follows.

147.Subsection (1) provides that the Registrar must register a person who applies to be registered in respect of a description of driving instruction if he satisfies the Registrar that conditions prescribed under the subsection (for example, conditions requiring the persons to have passed certain examinations) are fulfilled.

148.Subsection (3) provides that a person may be registered subject to fulfilling conditions prescribed under the subsection for so long as he continues to be registered and subsection (7) provides that regulations may include provision to exempt persons from any condition in prescribed circumstances.

149.Paragraph 6 amends section 125A (registration of disabled persons). Subsections (2) to (5) of section 125 and section 125ZA of the RTA do not apply to disabled instructors and these amendments to section 125A ensure that the provisions relating to the registration of disabled persons are in line with the amendments made by new section 125 (register) and new section 125ZA (conditions of registration).

150.Paragraph 7 amends section 125B (provisions supplementary to section 125A). It provides that regulations may make provision for prescribed persons to be exempt from the holding of a current emergency control certificate (as in existing section 125B(3)).

151.Paragraph 8 substitutes a new section 126 (Duration of registration). Where a person whose registration has been terminated applies under section 125 of the RTA to be registered again he is required to show again that he fulfils such of the conditions prescribed under section 125ZA(1) as may be prescribed or, if a registered disabled instructor, such of the conditions prescribed under 125A(5) as may be prescribed.

152.Paragraph 9 amends section 127 (extension of duration of registration), substituting new subsections (1) to (4). It provides that the continued registration of a person by virtue of an extension under this section may be made subject to the conditions mentioned in section 125A in the case of a registered disabled instructor and in any other case the conditions mentioned in section 125ZA.

153.Paragraph 10 substitutes new provisions for the current section 128 (removal of names from the register):

154.New section 128 (Termination of registration by Registrar) sets out the Registrar's powers to terminate a person's registration if he is satisfied that any relevant prescribed condition has not been complied with. (A "relevant prescribed condition" means, in the case of a registered disabled instructor, a condition prescribed under section 125A(7) of the RTA and, in any other case, a condition prescribed under section 125ZA(3) of the RTA.) There are provisions as to the giving of notice to the person concerned and a requirement that the Registrar must take into account any representations made by that person before exercising his powers.

155.Paragraph 11 inserts a new section 128A (Power to give direction as to further applications) into Part 5. This empowers the Registrar to impose a rehabilitation period (i.e. a period during which no further application for registration will be considered) thereby preventing persons whose registration has been terminated from making futile applications for re-registration or an extension of an existing registration.

156.Paragraphs 12 and 14. Paragraph 12 removes sections 129 and 130 (licences for giving instruction so as to obtain practical experience) from Part 5 of the RTA. Under the current law, a person may obtain a licence to give instruction prior to applying for full registration. Such licences last for 6 months subject to a limited right of renewal. This system has proved unsatisfactory as a means of training driving instructors. Instead regulations under section 124 will make provision for persons training to be driving instructors to be exempt from the requirements to be registered. There are also to be new arrangements as to examinations and training.

157.These are contained in paragraph 14 which makes major changes to the training and examination systems. It replaces the current sections 132 (examinations) and 133 (review of examinations) of the RTA and inserts a new section 133ZA (Training), to make the system more flexible.

158.New section 132 (Examinations) contains revised powers enabling the Secretary of State to make regulations with respect to:

  • the nature of, and administrative arrangements for, examinations of fitness and ability to give driving instruction,

  • persons who may conduct them

  • evidence of the results of examinations, and

  • the making available of information about examination results.

159.New section 133 (Review of examinations etc.) provides for a person to apply to a Magistrates Court (or in Scotland the sheriff) to determine whether a relevant instructor examination or part of such examination was properly conducted.

New section 133ZA (Training)

160.Subsections (1), (2), (4) and (5) enable the Secretary of State, by regulations:

  • to make provision about instructors' training courses, persons providing the courses, and those giving instruction as part of that training,

  • to require a person to successfully complete training in accordance with the regulations before being permitted to take any part of an examination, to become registered or to have his registration extended,

  • to provide for the setting of maximum charges for persons undergoing such training, and

  • to make available information about persons providing training and those giving instruction as part of that training.

161.Subsection (3) provides for exemptions to the general requirements and subsection (6) allows the Secretary of State to charge reasonable fees in respect of the exercise of any function conferred or imposed on him by the regulations.

162.It will be possible under these provisions for the Secretary of State to control better the giving of paid instruction by requiring persons giving it to undergo training.

163.Paragraph 13 makes a number of amendments to section 131 (appeals), in particular a provision for appeal to the Transport Tribunal where the Registrar has imposed a rehabilitation period.

164.Paragraph 19 substitutes a new section 134 (power to alter registration period). It enables the Secretary of State, by regulations, to make changes in the registration period, allowing for greater flexibility and to make changes as to the maximum rehabilitation period that may be imposed.

165.Paragraph 20 substitutes a new section 135 (Evidence of registration). This contains a regulation-making power regarding those items or titles that may be issued or used as evidence of a person's registration. It makes it an offence for a non-registered person to display such items or use such titles. It is also an offence for a person carrying on business in the provision of driving instruction to use such titles in relation to employees or franchisees who are not registered or to issue misleading advertisements or invitations as to the extent to which employees or franchisees are registered.

166.Paragraph 25 substitutes new interpretation provisions for Part 5 of the RTA as follows:

New section 141A (Interpretation)

167.Subsection (1) describes the ways in which persons may carry on the business of providing driving instruction. Subsections (2) and (3) define what is meant by a "driving instruction franchise", "franchisor" and "franchisee", in relation to driving instruction businesses.

168.Subsections (4) and (5) make incidental provision.

169.Paragraphs 15 to 18, 21 to 24 and 26 to 33 make minor and consequential amendments.

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